"The all-new Walter. Created to serve." 20th Century Fox has revealed a brand new promo video for Alien: Covenant, introducing the newest version of the android made by Weyland-Yutani. The term used by the company is "synthetic", and the character is again played by Michael Fassbender. In Prometheus, he was called David, but in this movie he's known as Walter - so this video is all about meeting Walter. "Walter is the world's most advanced synthetic companion, designed to help you achieve a better human experience. Each model is individually calibrated to serve its owner's unique set of needs and preferences." There's a new website as well to custom build your own Walter. I like this marketing - it connects back to Prometheus and the marketing for David (and the TED Talk) and it's a a very clever world-building concept. See below.
"This may not look like a great deal of complexity to your viewers…" Weta Workshop is one of the coolest places, along with ILM. As a preview for the upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, Tested host Adam Savage went down to New Zealand for a personal tour of the Weta Workshop to get a closer look at the various props and practical effects and other toys used to make the movie. This video focuses entirely on the robot geisha seen in the trailers, with the face that opens up. Savage talks with Weta's Richard Taylor about creating the robot geisha and the various development processes. I wish there was more in this video about other props and pieces from the movie, but hopefully we'll see more of them later. Take a look below.
"I feel like I'm on top of the world, because this is just mind-blowing." Marvel has released a new behind-the-scenes production featurette for Avengers: Infinity War, the next big superhero crossover movie hitting theaters in the summer of 2018. The video is more of an announcement of the start of production - filming began on January 23rd, 2017, under the working title Mary Lou, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Georgia. Filming is expected to last until October/November 2017 - which is an extremely long shoot, but they're shooting the next two back-to-back. The Russo Brothers are directing, and instead of being split into two parts, it will be one big movie. This video features Kevin Feige, with appearances by Chris Pratt (Star Lord), Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man) as well as a few others. Fire it up.
"It seemed clear to everyone that the world needed more of me." Warner Bros has debuted a fun making of featurette for The Lego Batman Movie, taking a look "behind the bricks" at the behind-the-scenes of this animated adventure. The movie hits theaters in just a few weeks, so this is one final reminder that it looks hilarious. The featurette is 4 minutes and goes "behind-the-scenes" with the characters, mocking the typical featurette including interviews with the cast and crew. The cast includes Will Arnett back as Batman, with Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Mariah Carey, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Michael Cera as Robin, Zach Galifianakis as The Joker. I'm really excited for this, it looks like the perfect fun to escape with this winter.
One of our favorite movies of 2016 is Arrival, the science fiction thriller from Denis Villeneuve. Aside from a brilliant script by Eric Heisserer, the film contains stunning visuals, in part thanks to cinematographer Bradford Young, but also thanks to some excellent VFX work. For anyone curious to see how they brought everything to life, including the giant spaceship and their activity inside of it, Oblique FX has released a demo reel highlighting their work. Another VFX company, called RodeoFX, has also launched a page with photos showing before-after shots. It's amazing to see how much of this was filmed with blue screen, yet it feels so real. Seriously impressive. Always so cool to see these kind of VFX breakdowns for big sci-fi movies.
"You feel like you're in a galaxy far, far away." Visiting other planets without leaving our planet. Lucasfilm + Disney have revealed one more making of featurette for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is now playing in theaters nationwide. The video includes some discussions with director Gareth Edwards and star Felicity Jones talking about filming on location. They profile locations in the United Kingdom (where most of the sets are built) as well as Iceland, Maldives, and Jordan. If you've seen the movie, you should be able to recognize all of these places. It's fascinating to see them turn these locations on Earth into exotic planets around the Star Wars galaxy. The spectacular magic of making movies. Now I want to see this again.
I'm so excited to see this! Every time I'm reminded that, right now as I type this, Wes Anderson is in the middle of making a brand new, stop-motion animated film (in the same vein as Fantastic Mr. Fox) entirely about DOGS, I pretty much go nuts. I love dogs! I love Fantastic Mr. Fox! I love Wes Anderson's movies! A video has debuted on the service CrowdRise featuring Wes Anderson announcing the film, titled Isle of Dogs. Included in the video is one quick first look shot of the main dog Rex, voiced by Edward Norton, who also makes an appearance in this video. On the website, you can also see a bit of the concept art - mainly a Japanese man beneath some Japanese text, as well as, of course, a dog face. I hope we get to see more soon.
"Much has changed but just as much remains the same." Sony UK has debuted a featurette focused on the character of Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, in the sequel T2: Trainspotting. This seems to be the first of many featurettes, obviously with more coming for the other three main characters - Ewen Bremner as Spud, Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy, and Robert Carlyle as Begbie. I actually wish this featurette was longer - it's only 60 seconds and barely has any good footage, but it does do a good job of making me want to see this sequel really bad. It seems like they're ready to bring these characters back again, it might just be the perfect time. I'm excited to see what happens in this one, and I'm looking forward to finding out what everyone else has been up to in the meantime as well. Take a look below and stay tuned for more featurettes.
"We owe the audience a monster movie." In addition to the first teaser trailer premiering over the weekend, Universal has revealed a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Alex Kurtzman's updated monster movie The Mummy. The focus is on introducing us to their "new world of gods and monsters" - since this obviously has to be the beginning of a franchise. The footage in this is actually better than the footage in the trailer Tom Cruise also talks about the movie, covering the cast and the story and much more. Over at SlashFilm, they have some fun quotes about shooting the airplane sequence in zero g in the "vomit comet" airplane. "We've got to do it for real." Cruise loves doing almost all of his stunts for real, and this film is no exception.
With two weeks to go until release, Disney + Lucasfilm are releasing more and more from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to make sure audiences everywhere are crazy excited about seeing this movie. The latest featurette they've revealed is a behind-the-scenes peek into the "creature shop". Director Gareth Edwards and Creature Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan (who has credits on The Force Awakens, Prometheus, The Golden Compass, Babe, Little Shop of Horrors) gives us a brief glimpse at some of the various creatures in Rogue One and FX magic behind them. There isn't anything major revealed in this footage, but if you want to stay fresh it's best to avoid anything else. But for those who want a peek behind the curtain, fire this up.
"If you're being honest, and vulnerable, and real, everyone can relate to that…" A24 has revealed a new featurette for Mike Mills' latest film, 20th Century Women, which recently premiered at the New York Film Festival last month. The featurette focuses on the various characters, or rather, the incredible women at the center of this fantastic film. The ensemble cast includes Annette Bening in the lead as the mother, with Elle Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Laura Wiggins, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Billingsley and Waleed Zuaiter. It tells the story of a single mother raising her children in the late 1970s, and how different and unique and free they all are. Even though we've already featured two great trailers for this, I'm happy to bring more attention to this film in hopes that more people seek it out. Opening on Christmas Day.
"They seemed excited about the amount of work it would take to do this movie…" Lionsgate has released a 4-minute extended featurette for Damien Chazelle's stellar La La Land, going behind the making of this magnificent modern musical. It's one of the most refreshing and exciting movies this entire year, and it's incredibly impressive thanks to the vision of writer/director Damien Chazelle. Chazelle is featured in this video a lot, talking about various aspects of the movie, from choosing the actors to the choreography to the set design. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play the star-crossed Los Angeles lovers. I'm glad Lionsgate is sharing so much of this movie before release, they seem to be totally supportive of it and that's great. Enjoy.